Reaction Paper #2 (9_4).docx - Isabel Gouse Introduction to...

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Isabel Gouse Introduction to Africana Studies 101 Reaction Paper #2 9/4/19 Adams: African American Studies: the State of the Art Summary After a brief introduction to the current state of the African American Studies field, including its focus and the theoretical questions it seeks to answer, Russell Adams discusses at length the foundation and structure of this relatively new academic field. Adams explains that although there are multiple institutional approaches to the studying the black experience, the most common from is that of a program as opposed to a department. The author goes on to discuss the structure and benefits of both the program format and department format. Also included in this section of the chapter, is a discussion of the problems facing African American Studies field, such as faculty recruitment, field and disciplinary definition, curriculum construction, and the development of a common vocabulary and rules of procedure. As a result, the author concludes that this field has not yet evolved enough to be classified as a discipline. The second half of the chapter is dedicated to discussing how epistemology, Afrocentricity, and ideology factor into African Americanists pursuit of their work. The author calls attention to the ways in which Afrocentrists reject the “elitism and cultural ethnocentrism” prevalent in establishment academics, and instead seek to develop their own epistemological understanding of social truths (pg. 41). Adams moves on to discuss the overlapping versions of Africentrism and which epistemological truths they hold as self-evident, including

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